Energy & the Law

Lease Perpetuated Beyond Primary Term Without Production in Paying Quantities

Energy & the Law

Co-author David Leonard. If perpetuation of a mineral lease beyond the primary term is contingent upon continuous operations, do traditional notions of “production in paying quantities” always matter? Spoiler: No. In Thistle Creek Ranch, LLC v.

Law 130

Texas Mineral Deed Signed Away Right to Sue

Energy & the Law

Co-author Brittany Blakey. The question in litigation is usually “WHAT”: what happened, what contract was breached, what did someone do or fail to do, and so on. In Hughes v. CJM Resources, LP , the question was, “WHO” had the right to file the suit in the first place?

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Most-Favored-Nations Clause Costs Lessee

Energy & the Law

Co-author Julia Edwards. This “most-favored-nations” clause in three oil and gas leases on land in LaSalle County, Texas, was at issue in EP Energy E&P Co., Storey Minerals, Ltd.:

2013 130

Well Operator Escapes Liability After Disposing of its Working Interest

Energy & the Law

Co-author Justin Cowan. Does a former working-interest owner of a well bear continuing responsibility for a defective gas line despite having conveyed its ownership interest? The line was constructed by the former owner as operator of record, and it received a fee as operator.

Law 130

The Meaning of “Subject To” in a Deed

Energy & the Law

Co-author Max Brown. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. International Development Corporation resolved the question, In a 100 year old Pennsylvania deed is a “subject to” provision an exception to a grant or a warranty disclaimer?

Law 130

Operator Escapes Liability For a Gas Kick and Resulting Fire

Energy & the Law

Co-author Darien Harris.

Law 130

Ohio Landowners Burdened with Post-Production Costs

Energy & the Law

Co-author Brittany Blakey. Zehentbauer Family Land, LP v. TotalEnergies E&P USA, Inc.

Law 130

Louisiana Operator Slapped by Appellate Court

Energy & the Law

Author Ethan Wood. Louisiana’s compulsory pooling scheme seeks to balance the interests of individual landowners and oil and gas operators to promote responsible development of natural resources.

Law 130

North Dakota Supreme Court to Hear Case on Pore Space Rights

Energy & the Law

photo Co-author Brittany Blakey. Updated] The North Dakota Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Thursday to consider who owns the right to profit from the value of the porous spaces within subsurface rock formations.

A Texas Lien is Invalid if the Mineral Owner is Not Yet Obligated to Pay

Energy & the Law

Co-author Stephanie Snyder-Zuasnabar*. A subcontractor’s mineral lien in Texas is invalid when, at the time the mineral owner receives notice of the lien affidavit, the mineral owner is not yet obligated to pay the contract price to its contractor. So says Pearl Resources Operating Co., LLC v.

Law 130

Stray Cows and Oilfield Operations Do Not Play Well Together

Energy & the Law

Foote and Cypert v. Texcel Exploration and Decker determined that cattle loitering uninvited around a well and tank battery are trespassers, not licensees. How it happened. Foote arranged with Yates to graze 650 head of cattle on Yates’ pasture and paid Cypert to take care of them.

Law 130

Texas Supreme Court Clarifies Postproduction Cost Decision

Energy & the Law

It was jurisprudential Groundhog Day as the Supreme Court of Texas handed down Nettye Engler Energy v. Bluestone Natural Resources , another in a series of postproduction cost disputes, only two days after Puxsutawney Phil peeked out of his cozy burrow to pronounce six more weeks of winter.

Law 130

Texas Court Decides What “Likewise” Means in a Conveyance

Energy & the Law

Consider the power of a single word over the fortunes of the parties to a property deed. Such was the court’s analysis in Barrow Shaver Resources, LLC, et al v. NETX Acquisitions, LLC, et al.

Law 130

What’s Up With Those West Texas Earthquakes?

Energy & the Law

If you dispose of produced water you are no-doubt aware of the intensive earthquakes being observed across the Midland and Delaware Basins.

Law 130

Louisiana Pipeline Intrusion Case Remanded to Determine a Remedy

Energy & the Law

The baseball season might be in jeopardy, but litigants are swinging for the fences. In Mary v. QEP Energy, the parties entered into a Pipelins Servitude Agreement over Ms. Mary’s 160 acres. One of QEP’s pipelines extended beyond the servitude by 31 feet and another by 15 feet.

Law 130

Is the Oil and Gas Industry Worth Defending?

Energy & the Law

Of course it is. Apologies for the clickbait.) If further reading would damage you, I recommend a subscription to the Guardian. Otherwise, consider these points of view when conversing with those in need of enlightenment. Counter-arguments abound, but they are not the purpose of this post.

Law 130

2021’s Bad Guys in Energy

Energy & the Law

Like wild mushrooms after a warm summer rain, and undaunted by the COVIDs, the fraudsters, the grifters, and the “the spawn of the Devil’s own strumpet”* were prolific before meeting the wrath of the courts and the regulators in 2021.

2021 130

Buried Pipeline Ruling Favors Lessee

Energy & the Law

Co-author Brittany Blakey. In Texas, what happens to an obligation to bury pipelines when, after creation of the obligation, the surface and minerals are severed? Henry v. Smith explains. Henry et al own the surface estate of the Camp Creek Ranch, a 15,000-acre tract in Archer County.

Law 130

Texas Supreme Court to Review the Lessee’s Covenant to Protect Against Drainage

Energy & the Law

Co-author Brittany Blakey. First, a word for you scriveners: Preserve your reputation and the honor of your law school writing instructor by preparing clear and understandable contracts.

Law 130

Texas Supreme Court to Review Approval of Injection Well Permit

Energy & the Law

Co-author Brittany Blakey. The Texas Supreme Court has granted petition for review of a 2019 decision in Dyer et al v. Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

2011 130

Texas Court Accepts Only One Meaning of “Leased Premises” in an Oil and Gas Lease

Energy & the Law

How many different meanings can parties attribute to a term in an oil and gas lease? Answer: As many as they want, but the court will only use one, says King Operating et al v. Double Eagle Andrews, LLC et al. The facts.

Law 130

Louisiana Court Considers Buried and Surface Flowlines

Energy & the Law

Co-author Brittany Blakey. In Emerald Land Corp. Trimont Energy (BL) LLC , a Louisiana federal court considered whether a lessee was required to remove flowlines buried beneath the surface and canal bottoms of property subject to mineral leases. What the leases said.

Law 130

Statute of Frauds Torpedoes an Overriding Royalty Sale

Energy & the Law

Co-author Brittany Blakey. Here we go again, in Gary and Theresa Poenisch Family Ltd. P’Ship v. TMH Land Servs., learning that a purported Texas land transaction will not be enforced if the parties fail to comply with the Statute of Frauds.

Law 130

Delaware Bankruptcy Court Treats Royalty Owner Claims as Unsecured

Energy & the Law

Coauthors Sahrish K. Soleja and Lydia Webb. If you are a royalty owner and have questions about how your claim is likely to be treated when your lessee/operator goes into bankruptcy in Delaware, In re MTE Holdings LLC is a significant case.

Law 130

Added Party Can’t Avoid Amended Master Service Agreement

Energy & the Law

Co-author Brittany Blakey. Let’s begin with a question: Master service agreements (“MSA’s” in the trade), once agreed upon, often remain in force for years. As time passes and circumstances change, the parties amend, sometimes losing sight of the original details.

2018 130

Texas Court Rules on a Retained Acreage Clause

Energy & the Law

Co-author Brittany Blakey. Sometimes writing too many alternatives into an oil and gas lease invites confusion … which provokes litigation … which results in disappointment for somebody … or everybody. For example, the central issue in Vermillion FC, LP v.

Law 130

Louisiana Federal Court Allows Injunctive Relief Under FERC Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity

Energy & the Law

Coach Eaux congratulates the Tigers for reading Energy and the Law Resistance was futile for defendants opposing a temporary injunction sought by a party armed with a FERC Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity that includes condemnation rights under the Natural Gas Act.

Law 130

Fifth Circuit Tells the Oil Patch That a Day Rate is Not a Salary

Energy & the Law

Co-author Marcus Fettinger. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, what is required for an employee to be exempt from overtime pay? Ordinarily, it’s a guaranteed minimum salary.

Law 130

Who Won and Who Didn’t: The 2021 Texas Legislature and Energy

Energy & the Law

Most bills filed in each legislative session fail. For the most part we are thankful for that. But today we summarize a few that survived while you weren’t paying attention. As usual, there are winners, losers, and rainouts.

2021 130

Are There Other Ways to Look at the IPCC 6th Assessment?

Energy & the Law

I prepared this post before Ida. It might now be perceived as cynical, or unsympathetic to the plight of those affected in South Louisiana and the Northeast. Is the intensity of hurricanes exacerbated by global warming? Some say it is ; some say it isn’t.

Law 130

New Mexico Solar Developer Fails to Establish Prescriptive Easement

Energy & the Law

Co-author David Leonard. McFarland Land & Cattle, Inc. Caprock Solar I, LLC considered what is the required under New Mexico law to establish a public prescriptive easement, and brings to life the full meaning of “100 feet of bad road”. The facts.

Law 130

Louisiana Land Damage Claim Can’t Survive Prescription and Subsequent Purchaser Rule

Energy & the Law

In Lexington Land Development LLC v. Chevron Pipeline Company et a l, a Louisiana landowner’s suit for damages to land alleged to have been caused by oil and gas operations failed to survive exceptions of prescription and the subsequent purchaser rule. The facts.

2005 130

Lessor Prevails in Texas Lease Termination Dispute

Energy & the Law

Lollygag: To fool around and waste time; dawdle. As in, “I lollygagged for 15 years after filing my suit and obtained a less-than-optimal result.”. Gramwich Oil and Gas Corporation et al v.

2015 130

Louisiana Coastal Zone Litigation Likely to Remain in Federal Court

Energy & the Law

In Plaquemines Parish et al. Chevron et al. , the U. Fifth Circuit has ruled on whether 42 suits brought by six parishes and the Louisiana Attorney General against a number of oil companies belongs in federal court or state ourt.

Law 130

Texas Court Addresses Anti-Washout Clause and Rule Against Perpetuties

Energy & the Law

Co-author Brittany Blakey. Yowell v. Granite Op. and Apache Corp. Peyton Royalties, L.P. is another Rule Against Perpetuties case. Keep reading. The anti-washout protection for your reserved overriding royalty could be at risk.

2007 130

Texas Supreme Court Reverses Subsurface Trespass Judgment

Energy & the Law

Regency Field Services LLC v. Swift Energy Operating LLC, draws one’s attention to the difficult analyses that should be made before bringing a subsurface trespass claim.

Law 130

Texas Court Re-iterates the Need For Clearly Defined Contract Terms

Energy & the Law

Co-author Rees LeMay*. In Apollo Exploration, LLC v. Apache Corp. Texas’ 11 th Court of Appeals analyzed several provisions of purchase and sale agreements in a complex oil and gas transaction and demonstrated a measured, text-centered approach to the interpretation of contract language.

Law 130

Texas Court Applies Amended Citizens Participation Act to a Lease Dispute

Energy & the Law

Co-author Rusty Tucker. Howard, et al. Matterhorn Energy, LLC, et al. 6th Dist.] May 4, 2021 considered the Texas Citizens Participation Act as amended, effective on September 1, 2019. Background. The lessors leased their minerals in 1,100+ acres in Harrison County to Matterhorn.

Law 130

Tax Foreclosure on Royalty Did Not Include Possibility of Reverter

Energy & the Law

Co-author Rusty Tucker. Ridgefield Permian, LLC, et al. Diamondback E & P LLC , et al. addresses the scope of a property interest foreclosed upon by a tax suit in Reeves County, Texas. In this post we will shortcut the complicated facts and discuss the takeaways. The rules are what you need.

Law 130

Supreme Court Introduces Totality of the Circumstances Test for Implied Ratification

Energy & the Law

Co-author Rees LeMay*. Ratification is not a game of ‘gotcha’”, said the Texas Supreme Court in BPX Operating Co. Strickhausen. The Court, in a 5-4 opinion, addressed the standard for an oil and gas lessor’s implied ratification of an unauthorized pooling.

Law 130

Try Title vs. Quieting Title: What’s the difference?

Energy & the Law

Co-author Travis Nadalni. If you aren’t quite sure about the difference between trespass to try title and suit to quiet title, Lockhart as Tr. of Lockhart Fam. Bypass Tr. Chisos Mins., LLC explains. But first, …. The facts. Warren Lockhart died.

Law 130

Texas Supreme Court Rules on Correction Deeds in a Case of First Impression

Energy & the Law

Co-author Rusty Tucker. What if you pay good money for a mineral interest and record the deed in the official public records, thereby securing your title?

2013 130

What is “Willful Misconduct” in Texas and Louisiana?

Energy & the Law

CORRECTED. Co-author Ashley Atwood*. Apache Corporation v. Castex Offshore Inc. et al, answers the question, What constitutes willful misconduct in oil field operations? This was a breach of contract suit involving operator Apache and non-operator Castex.

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